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European variety marketing campaign celebrating Hijab ended after French backlash

(RNS) — A variety marketing campaign designed to counter discrimination in opposition to European Muslim ladies who put on the hijab has been dropped at a halt after sparking backlash in France.

The Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights group, mentioned its marketing campaign grew out of efforts by Muslim youth organizations in Europe to construct respect for Muslim ladies amid elevated Islamophobia. “Have a good time variety & respect hijab” learn one slogan, promoted beneath the hashtag #WECAN4HRS” One other picture shared on-line featured a European girl of African heritage with the tagline “My Scarf, My Selection.”

However in France, the place full-face coverings akin to burqas or niqabs had been banned in public locations in 2010, outcries in opposition to the marketing campaign had been swift.

“That is to be condemned and due to this France made clear its extraordinarily sturdy disapproval and therefore the marketing campaign has now been withdrawn as of at this time,” mentioned Sarah El Haïry, the ministry of schooling’s state secretary for youth. The French authorities lodged an official protest with the Council of Europe previous to the marketing campaign. 

Earlier this yr a European Union establishment dominated that European corporations may ban ladies from sporting the hijab beneath sure circumstances.

A Council of Europe spokesperson advised the BBC the group had taken down the marketing campaign tweets, “whereas we mirror on a greater presentation of the challenge.”

“The tweets mirrored statements made by particular person contributors in one of many challenge workshops, and don’t signify the views of the Council of Europe or its Secretary Normal, Marija Pejcinovic Buric,” the spokesperson mentioned.   

With French presidential elections scheduled, far-right politicians and potential candidates seized on the marketing campaign.


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Political commentator Eric Zemmour, a possible presidential candidate and immigration hawk, referred to the marketing campaign as “the veiling of Europeans.” And Marie Le Pen, a former presidential candidate with the far-right Nationwide Rally, referred to as the marketing campaign “scandalous and indecent.” Although Le Pen now not heads the social gathering she stays a member of the nationwide meeting and an influential politician. 

The slogans and the marketing campaign grew out of two on-line workshops held in September and arranged in collaboration with the Discussion board of European Muslim Youth and Pupil Organizations, a gaggle that represents 33 totally different youth organizations throughout 20 European international locations and has labored with the Council of Europe for over 10 years.

“Everybody ought to be free to put on what they need. Muslim ladies are restricted from sporting the hijab and excluded from the office and schooling,” FEMYSO mentioned in a sequence of tweets, declaring that the person rights of Muslim ladies throughout Europe are being compromised and making observe of a recent reported case within the Spanish metropolis of Guadalajara the place a neighborhood pupil has been advised she must take away her hijab or go away the college.

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